Maine Republicans again decline to hold special session
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Republicans have again declined to agree to a special session of the state Legislature to address bills left unfinished by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Republicans shot down the idea on Wednesday. It was the second time they’ve declined to hold the session, which would be held at Augusta Civic Center. Hundreds of bills were left over when the pandemic halted the legislative session in March.
The state’s Democratic leaders accused the Republicans of failing to serve Maine people. But the Republicans said they want an agreement on the scope of the work the legislature would be doing. Specifically, they want lawmakers to address emergency pieces of legislation that are directly related to the pandemic.
Democratic Speaker of the House Sara Gideon said a special session would provide “an opportunity to have a real discussion about the hardships Maine families and small businesses are experiencing” and how lawmakers can help. But House Republican Leader Kathleen Dillingham said the Democrats need to work with the GOP on the scope of the session.
“We can’t pretend there isn’t an emergency in order to pass spending and bills that are unrelated to the crisis we are in,” she said.